Blog

September 2022



Panel Discussion

Finweek Bratislava

I joined FINWEEK BRATISLAVA 2022 to discuss CBDCs with great experts from central banks, politics, and the private sector. Amongst others, we talked about use cases and design requirements of CBDCs.


September 2022



Public Hearing

Invite from European Economic and Social Committee

On 7 September 2022, the European Economic and Social Committee hosted a public hearing entitled "A Digital Euro: Challenges and Opportunities". The hearing brought together experts from around Europe to discuss the institutional considerations of introducing a digital euro, as well as its function in an inclusive, digital and sustainable economy. The Digital Euro Association (DEA) was invited to participate and I had the pleasure to represent DEA.

August 2022



Event

CBDC Conference Workshop

I had such a great time at the CBDC Conference. It was an excellent opportunity to network and exchange view on CBDCs and learn from CBDC-pioneering central banks and tech providers. In particular, it was exciting to see so many CBDC experts in presence, after plenty of touch points via webinars, online calls, or emails.


On day one of the conference, I gave a presentation about technological solutions for CBDCs and their implications for the use cases.


July 2022



Event

First DEA Sommerfest

Last week, we hosted the first physical Digital Euro Association event in Frankfurt. For our DEA Summerfest, we gathered more than 50 experts from the digital money space at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management.

For me, it was amazing to see the interest in our work at the Digital Euro Association. While two years ago, the DEA was only a concept, it is great to see how the DEA more and more gets a place in society and is recognized as one of the leading think tanks around digital currencies, and in particular, the digital euro.

June 2022



Medium Article

Education in Blockchain and DLT: How to Acquire the Necessary Knowledge in 10 Days

Education in Blockchain and DLT: How to Acquire the Necessary Knowledge in 10 Days?

I often get asked “How can I get into blockchain? What do I have to study and to do?” Philipp Sandner and I developed a 10-day program to onboard people interested in Bitcoin, crypto assets, and blockchain technology in general, which makes it possible to acquire the necessary basics just within a few days in a “learning and doing” mode. We recommend podcasts, books, networking events, papers, study programs, workshops, online courses, and online articles.


June 2022



Event

European Blockchain Convention

The 7. European Blockchain Convention has come to an end. Thanks to Victoria Gago  and team for a great event in Barcelona. What are my two key takeaways?
1) Despite the recent crypto bear market, sentiment is very positive. A main difference to previous bear markets is that institutionals are on board this time.
2) Various Asian companies and exchanges intend to enter the European market.


June 2022



Medium

Circle’s New Euro Stablecoin: Issued from the US and Used Outside the EU?

Circle recently announced the launch of a euro stablecoin called EUROC on #Ethereum. Such a launch is indeed a important step. How does the EUROC stablecoin work? And which implications does the introduction of Circle's #euro #stablecoin have? We discuss these questions in our new article.

June 2022



Workshop

Representing DEA in ECB Workshop

I was invited by the European Central Bank (ECB) to represent the Digital Euro Association (DEA) at the Civil Society Seminar Series “Shaping the Digital Euro”. The seminar was an internal, online, and invite-only workshop between the ECB Deputy Head of Public Communications Ronan Sheridan, Digital Euro Programme Manager Evelien Witlox, Digital Euro Advisor Jürgen Schaaf, and approximately 25 European Civil Service Associations and NGOs, such as Positive Money and Euroscience. The DEA greatly welcomes the initiative by the ECB to include civil associations in the dialogue on the digital euro. This move was robustly advocated for in the DEA Board’s support of the call for greater citizen inclusion in the digital euro project published a few months ago. Including all stakeholders in the design process of the digital euro is key to ensuring the digital euro is designed for the greater good of society.


June 2022



Personal

I joined etonec as Head of Digital Assets and Currencies

I am thrilled to announce that I have joined etonec GmbH as Head of Digital Assets and Currencies.

etonec is a Berlin-based B2B technology company at the intersection of crypto, payments, banking, and regulation. etonec consults, advises, and builds cutting-edge solutions by leveraging deep subject matter expertise. The focus of etonec lies at the intersection between traditional finance and crypto. Further, etonec provides services around financial innovations that are currently flying under the radar but have tremendous potential, such as zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs), the #BitcoinLightning network, and also #CBDCs.


May 2022



Podcast

Block52-Interview zu CBDC und Bitcoin

Zuletzt war ich beim Podcast Block52 - Blockchain Podcast zu Gast und habe mit Philipp Sandner über den digitalen Euro, Bitcoin, sowie unsere Arbeit bei der Digital Euro Association gesprochen. Außerdem thematisieren wir Studienangebote rund um Blockchain und wie die VWL und Krypto zusammenpasst.

May 2022



Personal

PhD thesis sucessfully defended

On May 31, I successfully defended my PhD thesis titled "Essays on Digital Currencies and Monetary Policy" (summa cum laude) at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. In my thesis, I, in particular, study financial stability and privacy aspects of central bank digital currencies and its impact on monetary policy.


I want to take this opportunity to thank everybody who supported me on this way. First and foremost, my supervisor Prof. Dr. Bernhard Herz, who not just always provided helpful feedback and inspiration to me, but also came with a great interest in novel, innovative topics so that I could indeed focus on in my thesis on CBDCs. When I started working on my thesis three years ago, only few were interested in CBDCs. I am thrilled to see that this has changed substantially: Almost all central banks worldwide consider issuing CBDCs, and the market provides lots of job opportunities around CBDCs.

April 2022



Cointelegraph

Beitrag über die Zukunft des digitalen Euros

Die Investigationsphase für den digitalen Euro ist letztes Jahr offiziell gestartet. Wie steht es aktuell um den digitalen Euro? Was sind die nächsten Schritte? Und wie ist das Projekt bislang insgesamt zu bewerten? Dazu spreche ich mit Cointelegraph.


April 2022



Event

The Digital Euro Association - General Assembly 2022

On March 23, 2022, the DEA’s first general assembly took place joined by 25 participants (virtually and in person). Most of the DEA Executive Team and founding members gathered in Frankfurt to join the assembly. The DEA’s active and supporting members joined via Zoom to pass resolutions, recap 2021 and discuss the DEA’s strategy and goals for 2022.

March 2022



Event

Global Money Week: Das Geld der Zukunft

Im März habe ich das zweite Mal an der Global Money Week teilgenommen und einen Vortrag zur Zukunft des Geldes beigesteuert. Hierbei stellte ich mich den Fragen von

Schüler*innen hinsichtlich Bitcoin, Kryptowährungen, Stablecoins und digitalen Zentralbankwährungen (CBDCs).


March 2022



Online Event

Digital Currencies in Asia: Lessons for Europe

In this joint webinar of the Digital Euro Association and the German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ Forum), we focused on various efforts in Asia around digital money, stablecoins and CBDCs, and address the following questions among others: What is happening in Asia around digital money, stablecoins and CBDCs? e-CYN project in China: What are the implications for Asia as well as for Europe? DCJPY project and CBDC in Japan: What are the implications for Asia as well as for Europe? What can Europe learn from these projects? How and why do the design principles of various CBDCs differ across Asian countries? Which insights do Asian CBDC projects provide for the design of a digital euro? What are the recent regulatory developments around digital money in Asia? How is the competitive vs complementary landscape shaped in different Asian economies between the CBDCs and private digital money?

February 2022



Conference presentation

Currency Research Digital Currency Conference

I provided the introductory lecture for The Central Bank Digital Currency Think Tank Workshop, an educational series of lectures, that was hosted on Feb 24th. It was part of the Currency Research digital currency conference in Washington D.C. However, I will participate remotely.

January 2022



Podcast

Bitcoin verstehen: Digitale Zentralbankwährungen und Bitcoin

In dieser Episode sprecht Jonas Hofmeister von Bitcoin verstehen mit Jonas Groß über digitale Zentralbankwährungen und welche Rolle Bitcoin dabei spielen könnte. Dazu erläutert Jonas zunächst, worum es sich bei einer digitalen Zentralbankwährungen konkret handelt, welche Gründe es für die Einführung gibt und wie die Ausgestaltung für die Nutzer*innen in Zukunft aussehen könnte. Anschließend sprechen wir darüber, welche Bedeutung der Datenschutz bzw. die Privatsphäre besitzen und welche Auswirkungen diese digitale Geldform auf die Geldpolitik haben kann. Abschließend beleuchten wir, wie hoch die Wahrscheinlichkeit für eine Einführung ist und ob es dadurch zu einem Währungswettbewerb mit Bitcoin kommen könnte.

January 2022



Medium

Legal Aspects of Blockchain Technology - Identities

Considering that information is seen as the new gold of the digital age, data protection is a powerful tool that does not spare blockchain-based data. This article outlines the lawful obligation for anonymization of different data that can be stored on a blockchain. These different data comprise 1) personal data which refers to data of natural persons and 2) machine data which refers to machines and objects. We analyze the requirements for such sensitive data to be conformably stored on blockchain in detail. The article analyzed the laws and rules of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

January 2022



Jahresausblick

Unsere Prognosen für 2022

Welche Entwicklungen rund um digitale Assets, digitale Währungen und Blockchain-Technologie erwarten wir für 2022? Alexander Bechtel, Michael Blaschke, Jonas Groß und Manuel Klein von Bitcoin, Fiat & Rock’n’Roll wagen einen Blick in die Glaskugel. In diesem Gastartikel geben sie ihre Prognosen rund um Kryptowährungen, Stablecoins, CBDCs, Blockchain-Hacks und Corporates für 2022 ab. Zudem schätzen sie die Entwicklung des Bitcoin-Preises. 

December 2021



Digital Euro Podcast

2021 in review

In this final episode of the DEA Podcast for 2021, DEA Board Chairman Jonas Gross together with Conrad Kraft (Executive Director of the DEA) and Manuel Klein (Founding Member of the DEA) recap some of the most important developments made at the DEA as well as review some of the interesting developments in the world of digital money and the digital euro. They also share their predictions and outlook for 2022 in the world of digital money.

December 2021



CoinDesk

CBDCs for the People? Where the Current State of Digital Currency Research Leads

While much attention focuses on the retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) ruminations of China, Europe and the United States, smaller jurisdictions are leading the way. For example, Uruguay, the Bahamas, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Nigeria and Jamaica have each launched pilot CBDCs over the past three years.

The potential benefits of CBDCs are numerous – from automating certain tax payments to preserving a nation’s monetary sovereignty – if only theoretical at this stage. The idea is to revamp a crucial part of society, how money is issued and flows through an economy, and so, even small design choices can have substantial effects.

So central banks are proceeding carefully, but given the amount of intellectual effort being expended, it’s likely CBDCs will have a place in the global financial system.

December 2021



Medium

Legal Aspects of Blockchain Technology — Liability

Which influences do new technologies have on the existing liability regime, which is already complicated without the use of distributed systems? This article sheds light on contractual and product liability in general before addressing the liability question of smart contracts. A legal claim of one contractual party against another might arise due to 1) contractual breach of duty or through 2) producer and 3) product liability. The article analyzed the laws of Germany.

December 2021



Conference

1st Annual Central Bank Conference on Development Economics in the Middle East and North Africa

In December, I participated at the 1st Annual Central Bank Conference on Development Economics in the Middle East and North Africa and presented my paper "A model for central bank digital currencies: Implications for bank funding and monetary policy".

September 2021



Medium, Studie

Studie zur Tokenisierung von Immobilien: Wie die Blockchain-Technologie den Immobilienmarkt revolutioniert

Die Hamburg Commercial Bank AG (HCOB) und das Frankfurt School Blockchain Center (FSBC) an der Frankfurt School of Finance and Management haben eine Studie zur Tokenisierung von Immobilien mittels Blockchain-Technologie veröffentlicht. Die Autoren analysieren in der Studie die Anbieter tokenisierter Immobilien weltweit und vergleichen Unternehmen und Transaktionen anhand objektiver Kriterien wie Technologie, Rendite und Laufzeit. Ihr klares Fazit: Die Tokenisierung von Immobilien auf Blockchain-Basis hat das Potenzial, den konservativen Immobilienmarkt zu revolutionieren. Denn durch die Tokenisierung von Immobilien-Investments können die Kosten für die Emittenten reduziert und zudem, dank der Teilbarkeit in kleinste und handelbare Einheiten, deutlich mehr Anleger erreicht werden. Die Autoren stellen aber auch fest, dass aus heutiger Sicht noch wichtige Voraussetzungen, beispielsweise digitale Grundbücher und regulatorische Rahmenwerke, fehlen, um das gesamte Potenzial tokenisierter Immobilien auszuschöpfen.

July 2021



Medium

The future of payments: Programmable payments for the Internet-of-Things (IoT)

Digitization is taking hold of entire industries, including in Germany. The area of the “Internet of Things (IoT)”, in particular, promises revolutionary, new types of business models. In this context, the term IoT refers to the increasing connection of machines and devices to the Internet. These devices are equipped with digital identities to communicate with each other and execute processes autonomously without human intervention. This trend will become increasingly relevant in the future. For example, the total number of IoT devices is expected to rise to 75 billion by 2025, according to estimates.

July 2021



Medium

Which jurisdictions head up the retail central bank digital currency league table?

While much attention is focused on the retail central bank digital currency (rCBDC) ruminations of China, Europe and the United States, aside from China, smaller jurisdictions are actually leading the way. Although the People’s Bank of China launched their rCBDC pilot in April 2020, Banco Central del Uruguay completed its first pilot already in April 2018, the Central Bank of the Bahamas fully launched their Sand Dollar in October 2020, and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank launched a pilot in March 2021. In this post, we take a deep dive into these leading rCBDC efforts.

July 2021



Medium

Legal Aspects of Blockchain Technology: Data Protection Law

In this article, we analyze from a legal perspective how the topic of data protection, in particular the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), plays out specifically in the context of blockchain-based databases. In our legal assessment, we distinguish between 1) personal data and 2) machine data. In addition, aspects such as the different legal frameworks and levels of data protection in different countries are addressed. Also, the question of handling company and trade secrets will be discussed. In each scenario, special attention is drawn to the issue of liability. The article assumes the application of German laws.

July 2021



ZDF (German Second Television Channel)

moma Wirtschaft: Kommt der digitale Euro? (in German)

Derzeit prüfen Notenbanken rund um den Globus die Einführung Digital-Versionen ihrer Währungen. Heute will die EZB eine wichtige Weiche für die mögliche Einführung eines digitalen Euros stellen.



May 2021



Payment and Banking

Das sind die besten Studienorte für Blockchain-Interessierte

Die Blockchain-Technologie ist nun auch im deutschen Bildungssystem angekommen. So bieten einige Hochschulen und Universitäten inzwischen Kurse rund um die Grundlagen und Anwendungsfälle der Blockchain-Technologie an – erste Hochschulen stellen sogar bereits eigene Blockchain-Studiengänge auf die Beine. Doch welche Bildungseinrichtungen sind hier in Deutschland führend? Wo sollte man studieren, wenn man sein Blockchain-Wissen zielgerichtet weiter vertiefen möchte? Im Rahmen dieses Beitrags werden die deutschen Vorreiter-Hochschulen vorgestellt, an denen ihr euch intensiv dem Thema “Blockchain” widmen könnt.

May 2021



BTC Echo

The voice for the digital euro: The Digital Euro Association

Recently, the Digital Euro Association, a thinktank around the digitization of money, was launched to help shaping the discussion around the digitization of money — especially in the Euro area — to stimulate public discourse and act as a unified voice on digital money. In this article, we discuss current initiatives around the digitization of money and outline how the Digital Euro Association fits into this discussion.

March 2021



Medium

KOSMoS Blockchain Toolkit: How to Use Hyperledger in an Industrial DLT Project

The KOSMoS Blockchain Toolkit has various goals. First, the toolkit discusses the benefits of using DLT in the manufacturing industry and shows how DLT can improve business processes and increase process efficiency. We also discuss which DLT systems could be chosen to implement such use cases. Second, it is explained in detail how a DLT infrastructure can be set up for industrial use cases. For the KOSMoS project, we decided to use Hyperledger Fabric as the underlying DLT. This toolkit assists on how such a Hyperledger DLT platform can be set up in the context of the manufacturing industry, aiming to lower the threshold of market entry for DLT-interested companies. Therefore, the toolkit includes step-by-step guidance on how to use a DLT for our two use cases dynamic leasing and transparent maintenance.

December 2020



YouTube

Industry Insights – Jonas Gross of Frankfurt School Blockchain Center

The digital Euro is often discussed as the next big step for mainstream blockchain adoption. Jonas Gross, project manager and researcher at the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center with a focus on Central Bank Digital Currencies (CDBC), talks about the impact of a central bank digital currency on the financial sector and the entire economy.

September 2021



Medium

Programmable Money and Programmable Payments

“Programmable money” is, without doubt, one of the major buzzwords in the blockchain space in 2020. Even though everyone seems to talk about it, we still lack a clear definition and hence common understanding of this term. In this article, we present a taxonomy of programmable money. In particular, we argue that “programmable money” has to be differentiated from “programmable payments”. To make this distinction as clear as possible, we develop a framework in which we decompose the payments value chain into three pillars: the contract execution system, the digital payment infrastructure, and the monetary unit.